A mother-of-three from Dublin who spent 15 years on the housing list will this evening imagine an 'apology' from the Government in a hard-hitting online performance.
Paula Kearney will deliver a monologue in 'The Apology' - the first public act from a project entitled 'Multi-Story – Creative Engagement for Housing Change'.
It is a collaboration between artists Fiona Whelan and Feidlim Cannon, and Housing Action Now, a collective of community workers, researchers, activists, and artists concerned with the housing crisis in Ireland.
Ms Kearney, who lived with her family in emergency hotel accommodation for two years, now works with a community group that helps families living with addiction.
She said: "The homeless numbers are given out every month, but there's a name behind every one of them. There's a family behind every one of them who cannot get on with their lives. With 'The Apology', it's every dimension of the housing crisis. All groups are represented."
The project has been developed through an online process that has explored experiences of housing injustice through collective writing and storytelling.
Fiona Whelan said: "The pandemic meant we hosted our writing workshops online, but it offered the potential to make it a national project.
"We had personal stories of a diverse range of people affected by the housing crisis, and we created a network of solidarity between them. 'The Apology' is our first act - a reimagining of reality which sees an alternative. We collaborated and combined the personal stories and framed them as a State apology which doesn't exist."
John Bisset of Housing Action Now added: "There is a fatigue amongst the public about the housing crisis and it's not accidental.
"The fatigue happens where you have people do nothing over a prolonged period of time say they're doing something. We need something significant to happen. With this arts and activism project we are getting people involved, lighting fires and saying it's unacceptable."
This evening's performance is supported by Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, through the Arts Council's Commissions Award 2020.
It is free, although people are asked to book on eventbrite.ie
Ms Kearney said: "There are too many families out there now with generations living under the one roof or young people going from sofa to sofa in their aunties' and uncles' houses. Nobody should have to live like that. It puts so many barriers in people's way."